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Congressman Reintroduces Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act

Posted on December 15, 2004 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., will reintroduce the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act in the 109th Congress.

"I look forward to reintroducing this legislation that will give motoring consumers the ability to choose where, how and by whom to have their vehicles repaired, maintained and serviced and to choose whose vehicle parts they wish to purchase. This legislation also allows motorists to work on their own vehicles," Towns said.

Responding to an article in CollisionWeek that stated that he is backing off of support for the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act, Rep. Towns said, "The article mischaracterized his position." Towns also said, "I strongly believe in the viability and the need for this legislation."

Vehicles that are 1994 and newer are equipped with computers that control the repair, maintenance and parts replacement on vital systems such as brakes, oil changes, tire pressure, steering mechanisms, transmission, fuel injection, sound systems, check engine lights and more. The only way for motorists to currently have these systems and vehicles repaired is to return to the car dealerships.

The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act allows motorists to choose car dealerships, independent repair shops or do the work on their own vehicles.

"While my opening statement at the congressional hearing on this issue expressed my optimism for a negotiated deal, until a fair compromise is reached, I remain committed to this important legislation. I am in no way 'backing off' as the article indicated," Towns said.

"Nearly 14,000 automotive independent repair facilities are located throughout New York, and an approximate total of 495,000 aftermarket facilities exist throughout the United States. Unless these independent repair facilities have the ability to repair the entire vehicle, they will lose business and will be forced to lay off employees. I support jobs and small business and the right of consumers to choose what is good for them and their pocketbooks," Towns added.

The Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act will be reintroduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate with new bill numbers. The 108th congressional session concluded with a total of 118 bipartisan cosponsors.

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